The Media & the City Temporary Working Group has received permanent status and has become the next ECREA thematic Section called Media, Cities and Space.
This TWG was originally intended to constitute an interdisciplinary platform for European research and education around the manifold relationship between media and urban environments. Gaining permanent structure within ECREA allows Media, Cities and Space to further strengthen this work, and at the same time to expand the remit of the group to take into account the context provided by the increasingly pervasive mediation of space and social life.
Media & the City has, in its years of operation as a TWG, established a strong international network, and has become a forum for theoretical, empirical and methodological collaboration and knowledge production. From the beginning, the TWG has emphasised crossing disciplinary borders in the study of media (both in the sense of representations and technologies) in urban space and as an integral part of urban sociality. The ubiquitous presence of ICTs in cities and other spatial contexts today has rendered them inherently hybrid thereby accentuating even more the need and relevance of interdisciplinary orientation.
Interdisciplinary studies within Media, Cities and Space will focus on the complexities of the study of media and communications in cities (and urban/suburban/rural contexts) and the centrality and relationality of mediated spaces for lived experience and social (inter)action, and will generate questions such as the following:
- How are major historical changes such as digital mediation of spatial structures and internationalisation affecting cities, both individually, in terms of urbanites’ lived experience, and collectively in terms of urban sociality, urban policymaking, smart city developments and visions of the future city?
- How might knowledge and understanding of life and communication in mediated (urban) spaces be advanced by combining insights and approaches from social sciences, cultural and critical studies, science & technology studies, urban geography and architecture studies, mobile media & locative media studies as well as media and communication studies more broadly?
- How can the different theoretical approaches to the role of space and place in mediated communication be productively combined in empirical investigation that would use the multitude of available methods from various disciplines?
- What are the major conceptual and methodological features that differentiate studies of the mediated city and other hybrid spaces from studies in both 'neighbouring' disciplines (such as political communication) and in 'non-media-centric' disciplines such as geography or urban policy & planning?
By establishing as a permanent part of ECREA, Media, Cities and Space will seek to foster further collaborations with existing Sections and TWGs at key intersections of research agendas, as well as make ourselves into a welcoming home to other relevant subfields which currently have no home within ECREA, such as mobile media/communications and locative media.